McRae accepts costly error

World Rally Championship hopeful Colin McRae has forfeited his right to nominate his position in the running order for the crucial second Leg of Rally Australia after arriving late at the nomination ceremony in Perth

McRae accepts costly error

The joint championship leader will now start Saturday's stages first on the road, leaving the Scot with a mammoth task to score championship points in the penultimate round of the season. McRae is currently on equal points at the top od the drivers' standings with Mitsubishi rival Tommi Makinen.

At the end of the first day, drivers at the head of the Rally Australia field choose their starting positions for the next day's competition to avoid the delaying tactics witnessed on last year's event, when competitors deliberately slowed down to shuffle themselves into a better road position.

Australia's unique ball-bearing gravel slows down the drivers first out on the stages, handing the advantage to competitors starting further down the field, who have the way cleared for them by the frontrunners.

With McRae lying in fourth place after SS9, he was certain to pick a favourable starting position for Saturday's stages, however by arriving late at the nomination ceremony, the Ford driver was automatically given the worst slot - first out on the road.

"The organisers say that I was late to the selection," explained McRae before the start of SS10. "The team will appeal the decision."

But late in the evening Ford announced that it would not be appealing after all, citing that it would not be in the sporting interests of rallying to do so. That means McRae has been forced to accept his mistake and will have no choice but to start first on the road.

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